Ba noi

by Lizzy Krajan


I remember when

you fed me avocados

and rubbed my back when the pain

was too much to bear

I miss the nights when

you would sit up in your bed

and breathe prayers that were quiet

but I could still hear you

through the boards and

paper thin walls of the house

I still think of the evening

when you couldn’t sleep

because upon my pilgrimage to your home

for the first time, your grandchildren

sat together under the same roof

even after years of unknowing

years of the absence of love

and existence of kin

Upon my leaving

we sat together in the living room

you, me, and the entire village

and I wept

for love could not have radiated

any more than when we prayed

on a grey, rainy afternoon

And though you slept

the night that would be your last

not knowing it would be an endless sleep

the stroke may have taken your body

silently, quietly in slumber

yet it never took your soul

Lizzy Krajan is a 2013 graduate of Millersville University where she received her BA in International Studies with a focus on Asia Area Studies. She has traveled to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Cambodia, South Korea and studied abroad in China. She is currently the Cultural Orientation Instructor at Church World Service, a refugee and immigration program in Lancaster, PA. She will be returning to school in the fall in pursuit of a dual Master’s Degree in Public Health and International Peace and Conflict Resolution. She also enjoys singing songs by Drake.